Traditional Political Ideas, Values, and Practices: Their Status in the Modern Setting

Kwame Gyekye

in Tradition and Modernity

Published in print November 1997 | ISBN: 9780195112252
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853069 | DOI:
Traditional Political Ideas, Values, and Practices: Their Status in the Modern Setting

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The democratic characteristics of the conventional political activities and structures of Africa are discussed in this chapter through distinguishing opinionated thoughts, practices and values of the Akan society of Ghana, together with other African communities. Features of the autonomous political state are described with respect to the pressing demands and threats of colonialism to traditional customs. Although at first, the political institutions recommended by colonial rulers appear to offer organizational soundness, constitutional failure — disability of acting according to what is established — still occurs. Such malfunction can be understood in several terms, including the inadequate ability and the lack of motivation of African people to run government establishments that are provided by conquerors. Since democracy can be perceived in varying definitions and intensities, manifestations of this concept are promoted, including coordination with the government and performance of obligations assumed in the context of cooperative living.

Keywords: democracy; conventional politics; culture; Africa; government; colonialism; Akan society; Ghana

Chapter.  15304 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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